Chattahoochee Tech Students Make Rocket a Reality

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(Jasper, Ga. – June 7, 2013) There are few things that Chattahoochee Technical College Instructor Dave Taylor has not been asked to weld or join with his skills as a welder. From furniture and construction materials to gates and customized materials, Taylor teaches his students at the Appalachian Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College that skills in welding will take them on a wide variety of career paths.

So when the request came in to build a rocket, Taylor was not exactly surprised. Using a design developed by Southern Polytechnic State University and supplies donated by Lockheed, Taylor and his students began crafting a rocket that would eventually measure 11-feet in height.

“It was a great learning experience for my students,” said Taylor. “We used techniques that had us using rolled material in unconventional ways and fabrication techniques and riveting procedures that were unique to the students.”

The rocket will be on display at the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics – a STEM-certified elementary school, which uses a mascot theme of rockets for its message about the future. The project was a cooperative effort of all its educational partners from the Cobb Educational Consortium.

Chattahoochee Technical College’s Welding and Joining Technology program includes topics of shielding metal arc, oxyacetylene, tungsten inert gas, metallic inert gas, oxyfuel gas cutting, plasma arc cutting and gouging. Students also learn about metals, electrodes and filler materials. Some time is spent in traditional classroom settings, but the major emphasis is development of welding skills through actual hands-on practice. Housed at the college’s Appalachian Campus in Jasper, the diploma level program consists of 50 credit hours.

The rocket did not travel to the moon and back, but it was transported to Marietta by the college’s Commercial Truck Driving program. It will be installed on the school’s roof during the summer and dedicated in a ceremony this fall.